Regulators have to be as pro-active as possible, not waiting until another crisis hits before trying to ascertain whether the the financial institutions are in compliance with the law
Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's recent comments about the financial meltdown that occurred nearly five years ago are a stark reminder that not nearly enough has been done to prevent such a crisis from happening again.
Geithner gave a revealing, in-depth interview to USA Today, in which he correctly noted the damage from such financial disasters "falls disproportionately on the relatively poor, people of modest income."
That's particularly true when you consider big banks were reaping all sorts financial rewards from dubious practices and then got bailed out by the taxpayers when things went sour.
It's clear the country's largest financial institutions knowingly bundled toxic loans and then sold them to unsuspecting investors, a lucrative practice until the financial markets collapsed, bringing the country to the brink of a depression.
In the interview, Geithner called the reaction to the economic crisis "a classic financial panic."
He says the government had little choice but "to do things that look deeply unfair" to keep the financial system solvent and protect people from massive unemployment. Fair enough.
But it's also clear federal officials did not get the best deals possible on behalf of the American people.